WSB’s 6th Grade Visits Oregon Ridge Nature Center

Last Wednesday, Ms. Arnold’s 6th grade class had the pleasure of visiting Oregon Ridge Nature Center. The class is currently studying geology and mineralogy, and Oregon Ridge has a wonderful hand-on program about identifying the rocks and minerals of our local Piedmont watershed. The tour also incorporated landscape reading skills as we examined the landscape in relationship to its historical use. Please enjoy the photos below of our trip. Oregon Ridge is a mere 15 minute drive from WSB. Make it a point to visit this wonderful site. They offer an amazing array of nature programing that are open to the public. (And many of which are free!)

Permaculture Course: Starting Sept 20th


Have you seen the permaculture design map of the Waldorf School of Baltimore? Did you know that WSB is in the process of implementing many of the design components of this map? If you’re interested in really digging into permaculture, consider taking a 6 weekend course and become a certified permaculturist. This is the same course taken by Michel Anderson, WSB’s Ecoliteracy & Sustainability Coordinator. Click HERE for more info. Members of the Waldorf Community get $25 off by typing in the discount code, “Waldorf School of Baltimore,” at registration.  Act fast!  The first class is scheduled to start Saturday, Sept 20.  Also be sure to visit and LIKE the facebook page, Permaculture Maryland. Enjoy the day!

Introducing the Enhanced Schoolyard Plan

Greetings! And welcome to the new school year! I hope your summer was filled with wonder and glee. I wanted to take moment to fill you in on some of the new green projects that are currently underway at the Waldorf School of Baltimore. First off, the Parents’ Association (PA) has generously donated funds to kick off our new Enhanced Schoolyard Plan. You will be hearing a lot about this plan over the coming months. In brief, the plan is based on permaculture design principles as well as design principles that encouraging biophilia (love of nature) in children. We’ve already started folding it into the school with a few new items. Thanks to the PA, we now have new composting tumblers that are loose and can be rolled around the schoolyard as well as down hills. This gives our students a fun way to turn compost (cleverly disguised as play) during recess. We’ve also purchased new fencing which will allow our three hens more space to roam. When it’s complete WSB students will be able to freely enter the area and interact with the chickens on a more regular basis. I have started installing the fence, panel-by-panel, during recess with the help of a few eager 3rd graders. We should be finished within the next couple of weeks. This year’s Student Council will be instrumental in designing and phasing in the Enhanced Schoolyard Plan. We are developing a Student Council Task Force that will be making play-maps of the schoolyard and offering suggestions to the faculty to make changes to the physical and cultural use to our grounds. Among other things, they will re-write the recess rules to offer their unique perspective. Over the next couple of months you will see and hear about these exciting changes through this blog (which will host middle school student authors!). The integration of these plans will offer many opportunities for volunteers! So subscribe and check to blog often.
Needless to say, we have high hopes that this year will be our greatest (and greenest) thus far!



Ahead of the game. . . .

WatershedJust last week the State of Maryland, along with 5 other states and the District of Columbia, signed the Chesapeake Watershed Agreement. Our governor, Martin O’Malley, spearheaded the initiative and called it, “the most inclusive, collaborative, goal-oriented agreement the Chesapeake Bay watershed has ever seen.”

The agreement not only sets new standards towards protecting our bay, but also brings ecoliteracy into every school in the watershed. You can read a Washington Post article about it by clicking HERE and take a look at the full agreement by clicking HERE.

The Waldorf School of Baltimore has been actively infusing ecoliteracy into its curriculum for a long time now. This new development highlights the fact that WSB is on the cutting edge of modern educational thought, and that your students are well underway of becoming environmentally-sound leaders and stewards of the Earth they will inherit.

Enjoy the day!

4th & 5th Grade Camping on Wye Island

Last week, WSB’s 4th & 5th grade classes camped together on Wye Island for 3 days. The island is located in the tidal recesses of the Chesapeake Bay. During the trip our students fully immerse themselves within Maryland’s complex ecosystem. Despite the rain (and between the s’mores), our days were packed with activities. . . . We took numerous nature hikes (one to a 300 year old holly tree), canoed in the Wye River, did a service project for the Department of Natural Resources, had a visit from Scales & Tails (a wild animal refuge project), and even sailed on a skipjack!
The week before our 8th grade class took a week-long camping trip to the Living Earth School in the Blue Ridge Mountains of central Virginia (see photos in our facebook album). WSB’s camping trips are an integral part of our curriculum because they bridge our students’ academic work with hands-on experience. These trips are so vitally important because they deepen our students’ love, respect, and understanding, of their relationship with the natural world. And it is through nurturing this internal wisdom to blossom within them that we are confident they will use their growing knowledge and power to heal the wounded planet they are inheriting, the act of which will be their generation’s greatest challenge and promise.
Please enjoy the following photos taken on the Wye Island trip:

Check out more photos of last year’s 5th grade class on a similar trip in 2013:

Adult Workshop on Indoor Anaerobic Composting 5/27 @ 8:30am

Bokashi Composting is a method that allows you to compost indoors, at a rapid pace, with only a small amount of outdoor space. Come to the Waldorf School of Baltimore on Tuesday 5/27 @ 8:30am for a 1 hour workshop that will give you the confidence to tackle this great feat on your own! Your WSB student knows how to do it — now so can you!

One lucky participant will win a WSB Composting System; and twelve participants will be able to purchase a WSB Composting System for $30. Bring a drill if you have one! If interested, please bring a check payable to Waldorf School of Baltimore. All proceeds will benefit WSB’s Green Projects.

Click on the flyer below for more details….Coffee BOKASHI 5-27-14

Spring 2014: 3rd Grade Farm Trip PART 1

Happy Earth Day!
For over 35 years, the Waldorf School of Baltimore has been sending their 3rd grade class to Hawthorne Valley Farm for a week-long trip that deepens their sense of independence and understanding of life and the food system. This week, Mrs. Jerram’s 3rd grade is in the midst of this life changing experience and is busy working and playing hard from dawn to dusk. Thus far, our students have been engaged in activities ranging from horseback riding to baking sourdough bread…and they still have 2 more full days to go!  Please enjoy the photographs below (and, parents, please know that even though the photos are full of wide eyes and bright smiles, your children miss you…really they do. 🙂 )

Spring is Approaching! (finally)

Greetings! As spring approaches you will see a lot of exciting new developments happening around our school. . . . First, we will be expanding the garden and adding a few more planting areas to allow all of our students the ability to get their hands in the earth and grow something beautiful (and/or tasty). The 1st graders have been actively helping the expansion process (as you can see in the photos below). We will also be setting up a small pop-up greenhouse within the next few days on the 2nd floor terrace (between the art and handwork rooms). This will allow us to have experiential lessons about the food cycle — from seed to table. Next fall, we will save our seeds in order to “close-the-loop” and make our garden more self-sufficient and teach our students that they don’t need to relay on  a store for everything. An herb spiral will be this year’s most interesting new garden feature (but I’ll save that for another post). Beyond expanding our gardening efforts, we plan to get the earthoven cleaned up and re-coated with a few new layers of clay… our hope is that we’ll be making pizzas (with some of our early blooming garden crops) by the end of the school year.

Below you will find photos of our 1st graders who are always eager to work in the garden during recess. . . .

And here is what some students thought up to do with the sod we digging up. . . .